The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Tommy Wells
Seward Phoenix LOG 

Baby 'Hawks lead Seward to 5th at state


October 5, 2017 | View PDF

\ANCHORAGE – Make no mistake about it, Neil Lindquist and the Seward High School Seahawks have notified the cross-country world that 2018 will have everyone seeing plenty of green and gold.

Backed by outstanding performances by six underclassmen, the Seahawks etched their name into next season's state title conversation by turning in a stellar performance at the 2017 Alaska State Cross-Country Championships on Saturday. Led by a bevy of freshmen, the SHS boys raced to fifth in the team standings.

Overall, Seward was among more than 14 teams to compete in the tournament, which was held on September 30 at Bartlett High School. More than 140 boys from across the state competed in the 5-kilometer race.

"It was a pretty good race for us," said Neil Lindquist, one of the Seahawks' "Fab Four" freshman brigade. "I don't think we really knew what to expect so we were surprised at how well the team did. I think we're going to do a lot of training this winter and come back more prepared."

Lindquist capped a remarkable rookie campaign with an impressive effort at the state meet. He overcame early jitters on the trail to finish eighth overall.

"I didn't really know what I was going to do coming into the season," he said. "Honestly, I wasn't even expecting to be in the top 20 here (at state) so I was surprised I finished as high as I did. I kind of held back a little early on, but I think I kept a constant pace so I am proud of how it went."

Just how good was Lindquist's run? Consider this: He was one of only eight runners to finish the race in under 17 minutes. Of those eight, four are seniors and two are juniors. Only Lindquist and Anchorage Christian's Tristian Merchant are freshmen.

Galena senior Jacob Moos won his second straight Division II title by legging out a mark of 15:33. ACS senior Blake Bennett was second at 15:47. Merchant was a distant third at 16:30 – only 25 seconds ahead of Lindquist, the younger brother of Seward's sister-tandem of Ruby and Sadie Lindquist.

Lindquist wasn't the only Seward freshman making huge waves on the cross-country scene. Max Pfeiffenberger and Trey Ingalls both turned in record-setting efforts on the Bartlett course. Pfeiffenberger shattered his previous 5-kilometer mark en route to finishing 16th overall. His time of 17:33 was a remarkable 41 seconds better than his previous personal-best mark of 18:14 set in September at the Seahawks' home meet.

Ingalls was equally impressive en route to finishing 45th in the individual standings. His mark of 18:21 was 40 seconds better than his previous best time. Like Pfeiffenberger, he set his previous best of 18:21 at home during the Frank Dieckgraeff meet on September 6.

Senior Zen Petrosius and sophomore Jaden Van Dyke also got into the record-breaking act. One of four Seward runners to crack the top 25 in the state standings, Petrosius raced to a mark of 17:38 and finished 18th overall. His previous personal-best was 17:41, set earlier this season at the Bartlett State Preview.

Van Dyke finished 25th in the Division II boys' standings with a time of 17:54. His final mark was more than one-half minute faster than his previous best of 18:32.6, which was set on September 16 at the Spit Time Trials in Homer.

Brendan McMurray also turned in a notable outing. A junior, he clocked his fastest time of the 2017 season en route to finishing 63rd overall. His final mark was 18:54 – almost a full second better than the time he posted in Homer.

Freshman Samuel Koster closed out the Seahawks' efforts at Bartlett. He raced his way to a time of 18:57 and placed 67th.


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